By Brian McKenna
St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said the following on if the team doesn’t sign a free-agent forward/center: “I’m more than comfortable coming back and attacking next season with this group.”
I am a lifelong Bloosier who bleeds blue. With all due respect Mr. Army, you must be out of your f-ing mind. We (Blues fans) aren’t sheep. You better be very careful with that attitude because many of us aren’t buying that this season. The “Boy Band” core has lost three of their last four playoff series. They were swept by L.A. two years ago. They blew a 2-0 lead this season against the Kings, a lower seed, and lost in the first round. Hitch (coach Ken Hitchcock) talked about how, “we were more competitive.” WTF? Are our standards that low? Sorry, that won’t cut it anymore.
This is an organizational problem. I held Larry Pleau accountable for not being able to find the right goalie. I will do the same with Army when it comes to a goal scorer/center. The players don't get a free pass either. Bergy, Stewart, Oshie, Perron and Backes need to step their game up too! I, for one, have raised my standards as a Blues fan. No more of this, "Yippee, we made the playoffs or won a round. Let's all go to Dairy Queen and celebrate with our parents." The Kings and the Hawks figured it out so it can be done, right?
I want to be very clear- I am not giving up on this ownership/management/organization right now. Army has until next year’s trade deadline to put together a team that is worthy of contending for the Cup. I don't consider the first or second round contending for the Cup. My patience is running thin. I am just firing a warning shot on behalf of a lot of Blues fans who are sick of the "aw shucks, we were competitive and we'll get them next year" crap. Enough of the "grow with us." I am not going to support a "rebuild" either.
As Bernie Miklasz pointed out in the Post-Dispatch, owner Tom Stillman knew what he was getting into. It's up to him to find a way to get more revenue. It's up to Army to find a goal scorer. It's up to Hitch to coach these guys up. It's up to the players to take their game to the next level. Finally, it's up to the paying fans to decide when we have had enough of the "next year" BS. Former owner Bill Laurie sold off players and decided he wasn't trying to win the Cup anymore so we (fans) were wise to that and stopped buying tickets. If L.A. and Chicago can find a way to hoist the Cup, the Blues should be able to do the same. Know what I mean, eh!
The signings thus far? YAWN! Army on Derek Roy: "Low risk, high reward. It's a great opportunity for Derek to re-establish himself as a player he believes he can be and we believe he can be."
Derek Roy: "I was really mad about my season last year."
Fans are supposed to get Blues boners over this?
MEMO TO DOUG ARMSTRONG: THIS FRANCHISE HAS NEVER WON A STANLEY CUP. WE HAVE NEVER HELD A PARADE IN 45-PLUS YEARS. WE’VE HAD TO WATCH THE BLACKHAWKS, A FRANCHISE IN TURMOIL JUST A FEW YEARS BACK, WIN TWO CUPS RECENTLY. YOUR JOB AS A GM IS TO FIND THE MISSING PIECES TO THIS PUZZLE. YOUR TEAM NEEDS A GOAL SCORER. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO FIND HIM.
Bernie Miklasz wrote this recently, “The hockey calendar is predictable in St. Louis. The Blues get eliminated, the season ends, the players are rewarded with new contracts, the Blues’ marketing machine cranks up, the cute TV commercials hit the airwaves, the fans get excited, and media dunces like me get caught up in misplaced optimism.”
That time is over. You, Hitch, players and ownership are on the clock. You are dealing with a new breed of Bloosiers. We have raised our standards. We are not giving up on this team/franchise just yet, but don’t think we are satisfied with just making the playoffs. Just a reminder Mr. Armstrong: WE ARE THE ST. LOUIS BLUES; not the Chicago Cubs!
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